Galaxy S20’s security chip offers protection against hardware attacks
Samsung already offers multiple levels of protection for data stored on its smartphones and tablets. Its devices feature biometric authentication, Find My Mobile, Samsung Knox, and Secure Wi-Fi for protection against unwanted use of data by malicious agents. However, it decided to offer a dedicated security chip on the Galaxy S20, Galaxy S20+, and the Galaxy S20 Ultra.
Today, the company has explained how its S3K250AF Secure Element (SE) chip acts as a physical shield against advanced hardware or physical attacks and protects user data stored on the smartphone from hackers and unauthorized parties. Hardware or physical attacks can only be carried out if hackers get physical access to the phone.
Samsung’s SE turnkey solution stops malicious actors from manipulating hardware components of the phone, provoke hardware errors, or analyze electromagnetic or heat emissions to breach smartphone security. The chip provides an isolated space to store confidential data such as biometric details, pattern, PIN, passwords, and even blockchain private keys from third-party apps and services.
In addition to continuous scrambling and encrypting confidential data, the security chip uses a physical shield against physical attacks. It can detect invalid voltage or temperature changes, power/clock glitch fault injection, and light/laser methods to thwart side-channel attacks. It also makes it impossible for attackers to reset the error counter for failed pattern, password, or PIN attempts to unlock the device.
The combination of the S3K250AF security chip and Samsung’s optimized software also supports Strongbox Keymaster, which means it can securely store private keys and sensitive data from third-party apps like cryptocurrency wallets or password managers. The South Korean smartphone giant claims that its enhanced security solution will provide convenient mobile experiences in the future.